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Potentially Inappropriate Medications

By Dennis Tribble posted 01-31-2024 22:59


I don’t write about clinical topics very often, but I ran across an article in the ASHP Daily Briefing I got this morning that made me stop and think. It was an article in JAMA Network Open entitled Prevalence of Use of Potentially Inappropriate Medications Among Older Adults Worldwide.

What originally piqued my interest was that this article was about finding the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) in senior citizens (of which I am a member) who were treated in hospital outpatient departments (of which I am not a member).  They concluded that the use of potentially inappropriate medications was increasing among the elderly population over the last two decades with Benzodiazepines topping the list of such drugs, the rest of which appeared to be medications used to treat chronic disease. If you want to see the list, it is in a separate supplements document to which there is a link in the article. This is a meta-analysis of many studies.

Interestingly, the United States was not the source of the most significant data. The highest incidence of PIM was found in the low-income populations of developing countries.

My interest in this subject has arisen because I am now at the age where the continued use of medications is, at best questionable. Don’t worry; I am not going to launch into an “organ recital”. But it has been my experience that those involved in my care have been pushed to therapeutic interventions based on population statistics where the median age of that population is substantially lower than mine. And it makes me wonder whether we always apply the correct science to our treatment of an increasingly aged population.

What do you think?

As always, the comments in this blog reflect my thoughts and not necessarily those of ASHP or of my employer.

Dennis A. Tribble, PharmD, FASHP

Ormond Beach, FL